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Old 01.02.12, 10:58 AM
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Planning On Changing My Pickup. Any Suggestions?

On my Fender 57 Reissue Stratocaster MIJ Since 1993, it has all the original pickups that's supposed be on this model. The pickups has never been changed. Personally, I figured I like the clean tone on position 5 (neck pickup), and most of the time when I play I would stick with that position or sometimes I would change to position 3, or position 4 in between (BTW my position 3 & 5 sounds similar.. I could barely tell the difference.. is it just me, or maybe it's my ear XD). Position 1 (bridge pickup), I don't use it quite often, personally, I don't like it when too much twangy sound goes into my ear. However, my point is, I've heard good things about Japan made guitars, and I do love everything about my guitar, except the pickups aren't the best qualities, and now that I've played it, I agree the pickups could be better.

1) First of all, just out of curiosity, on a Fender Strat, which pickup position do you guys prefer / use the most often?

2) When it comes to pickups, is it any good to get a second-handed pickup?

3) It's great that I already got a clean tone I love with the neck pickup, but still, I sometimes play songs that needs a really rock tone with distortion as well, as in "distortion", almost metal distortion I'd say. And I thought it would be nice if I could play a really clean tone on position 5 and as well as great distortion on position 1 with the humbucker. Besides, that would get rid of the twangy sound single-coil on position 1 now which I personally don't use so often, and gives me another position to use a lot when it comes to rock songs. Single-coil pickup buzz so loud when it comes to distortion.. whereas a humbucker should be no buzz and good for distortion I'd say? With that said, what would be a good humbucker pickup (fit-able & replace-able on single-coil size) you guys would suggest when it comes to distortion? and what would be the price? (btw. I live in Bangkok. it would be great if it's order-able from internet and ship-able. Or it's not worth it? maybe it's cheaper if I could go around my area and look for it?)

At the moment, I'm looking at Seymour Duncan Pickup For Strats :
http://www.seymourduncan.com/product.../stratocaster/

As in what type of distortion tone I'm trying to get...
these songs would be some examples:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbjYLNxCwZ4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2fz_zBNl80
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYlS_kmxES0
OR distortion that would sound sth like this in solo:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dNxshHlp4w
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sk7APvKpmcg

I understand some of these they use pedals,
and it depends on the guitar as well,
I'm just trying to give an idea that
I'm looking for sound that's "something/similar like this".

Any idea which specific Seymour Duncan Pickup would make sth similar to this distortion tone I'm trying to get?
Or perhaps DiMarzio Pickups which I've also heard good things about? or any other suggestions?

That's All Guys! Any Reply Would Be Highly Appreciated. THANK YOU.=D

Last edited by Jimmy25; 01.02.12 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 01.02.12, 1:42 PM
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I don't know about buying second hand pickups, I've never done it and all the pickups I've purchased new were a decent enough price for the quality they were.

From what you've posted about how much you like the clean tones, you're probably right on the money when you just want to change the bridge pickup for one that does distortion better. You don't necessarily have to cut a larger hole in the guitar to fit a true humbucker, you can get a hum-cancelling single coil spaced pickup that'll fit with no modifications. Popular ones I haven't tried would be the Seymour Duncan Hot Rails (recomended by guitar geek's local pickup guru Motorhead) and the Lace Sensor Red (used by Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins).

I have a strat with a Dimarzio Tone Zone in it, and while it doesn't sound exactly like the true humbucker Tone Zone it's still a nice heavy sound with the tone on the guitar rolled off to about six (that's my taste though).

My main guitar has a Rio Grande BBQ humbucker in it, which I love, and Rio Grande offers a single coil that's supposed to sound like it called the Railgunner. It probably doesn't sound exactly like the BBQ (the single coil sized humbuckers usually don't) but if it's in the spirit of it then it might be worth the money cause the BBQ is awesome and Rio Grande makes good stuff.
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Old 01.03.12, 12:15 AM
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Thanks Guys!!! Topic Post Edited.. what do guys think? : )
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Old 01.04.12, 3:04 AM
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Hi and welcome!

1) I probably use the neck pickup the most but I've been using the bridge pickup a bit more lately, especially with distortion. I used to use the 2 and 4 positions a bit but rarely do now... also, I've had my switch modded so that the middle position is neck and bridge together Tele/Jag/Mustang style which I'm using quite a bit now too.

2) I've bought a couple of pickups second hand; one from ebay and one from an awesome local second shop - no problems with either and I got some seriously good prices!

3) Sorry, can't help there but I'm curious to see what people say!
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Old 01.04.12, 9:05 AM
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You could do worse than putting a Hot Rails in the bridge position. Its not a very cool/boutique pickup but it gets the job done and is very popular for good reason. I have a similar setup with my strat - I never really found usable tones from the bridge single coil (too ice picky), so I put a Hot Rails in and its a much more versatile guitar now. You still get the awesome clean strat tones but with the option of playing high gain or beefy cleans on the bridge.

I wouldn't recommend it if you said you wanted mainly an awesome clean bridge tone, but for distortion or OD its a very capable pickup as well as being very common and comparatively cheap.

1) I use mostly the bridge, neck and middle positions, but the in between spots are good for getting a little extra cut. I installed my Hot Rails with the wrong polarity though and have been too lazy to change it so position 2 is phase cancelling (lol). Its really shrill and thin but kind of funny for some effects settings.
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Last edited by beerski; 01.04.12 at 9:14 AM.
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Old 01.04.12, 1:03 PM
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I always replace the bridge single coil on my strats with a single sized rail pickup. Like you I love the sound of a single in the neck for clean rhythm and even some solos but I need to have the bucker in the bridge for rhythm distortion. I have had a few different flavors of the Duncan single coil sized solutions and the laces as well. You can rule out the Lace Red for the modern distortion tones you are going for. It has some good output and is somewhat quiet but it doesn't really get in the ballpark of a humbucker sound. I had a Duncan JB. Jr in one of my strats for years and it was really just ok. It was my least favorite, nothing special happened for me and I would skip over it. Hot rails are a good pickup for what you are looking for if you are really wanting to go with the duncan brand they would be my second choice. A few years ago when GFS was relatively new I took a chance on this pickup and now I have it in both my strat pluses. I get the lead winding and it really pushes my guitar amps into some thick yet clear distortion that doesn't sound overly compressed or muddy and has some good grit. For the price it's cheaper then buying used, you don't have to worry about short leads and I would reccomend it. I've tried a few of their other styles of pickups some good some not so much. To me those are kind of hit and miss but the Lil Killer is a hit and will be staying in my strats.

Lil Killer Cream Humbucker Rail Pickup for Strats- Three Versions Available
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